Tuesday, January 28, 2014

gaming developments


I'm sure you'll be delighted to know my primary team in Final Fantasy IX have reached level 20 status (out of 99) and have been successful in their effort to traverse the dangerous city of Burmecia, a gloomy and dismal dungeon now the king and all the citizens have fled from the dark mage monsters. Poor Vivi, sad and mystified about their resemblance to him, is determined to find the answer. Meanwhile, the second team, separated from their friends, continue on their way to Tremo to rescue a friend who has been petrified. I left them yesterday after they'd found a cave where they can heal and regain magic power after fighting battles outside in a large forest where the worst enemies are called Mandragoras. Although I'd been warned they were dangerous, when it turned out they look like mischievous dancing tomato plants, I went ahead and battled them anyway - barely winning after being hit by various spells and other damaging attacks. A frequent trick in FF games is that some of the most powerful enemies appear to be the least offensive. This seems to be common in real life too.

Today's good thing and bad thing in the news are both about the same thing and fairly close to home at that - the Keystone Pipeline. Of course, in my opinion no news about the exploitation of the Alberta Tar Sands can possibly be good news because of the massive environmental destruction and all that implies.

The good news is that of all the states where farmers have agreed to easements on land that the pipeline is planned to traverse, farmers in the state of Nebraska continue to refuse the increasingly large amounts of money now being offered. These are brave and principled people.

The bad news is that on Saturday night there was yet another TransCanada Pipeline disaster when a pipeline providing natural gas to four thousand homes near Winnipeg, Manitoba exploded. These events are becoming more common all the time.

Now I'd better get back to my FFIX team near the cave. So far they've reached level 13, but because I need them to be a bit stronger before they take on the next dungeon I'll be doing something called grinding (battling to gain money/gil and experience points). The cool thing about Final Fantasy's earlier games is that you can make the characters strong enough that getting through the hard parts is much easier. I'm all for that.


Crow thought it might be nice for me to get one of these clever harnesses with an attached perch, but since he's six feet tall and wears boots, I balked at the idea.

23 comments:

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

That photo at the bottom has got me puzzled...

susan said...

Sorry for the confusion, Andrew. As I understand it the dog and crow became inseparable friends. Since neither of them were pleased by the crow grasping the dog's collar his owner made the harness with a perch.

The Crow said...

I'd balk, too! Just imagine how big the dog would have to be!

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Really?

Amazing.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Ah........... Ha ha :)

gfid said...

Crow needs crow needs to meet Clifford The Big Red Dog. He's just the right size.

Life As I Know It Now said...

pipeline explosions and constant earthquakes and dirty water are becoming the new normal now and not to be wondered at it seems :~(

Tom said...

I'm rather glad I am not into gaming; I'd find it too compulsive. But I do love being a participant in your fantasy world.

susan said...

I'd love to meet a dog big enough for the job as would Crow. We've seen him before, but yesterday we met Rusty the Mountainbike Riding Cat - not quite big enough but definitely magnificent.

susan said...

Thought you'd enjoy the full story :)

susan said...

Plus the fact his favorite perch is an antique oak Victorian model!

susan said...

It used to be you could get away from these types by going out to the countryside.

susan said...

My natural tendency toward compulsive behaviour has been what's kept me away from gaming; this is a one time only experience because FFIX is known as the best of its kind.

I'm glad you enjoy hearing about it.

marja-leena said...

The environmental crises and battles are so depressing that maybe I need to take up gaming! I love the fantasy aspects of what you are playing with.

susan said...

I'm beyond disgusted by the rampant exploitation of our only home. You'd think more people than just us normal types would have looked at those pictures from space to see our planet with awe and reverence, wouldn't you? I read far more nasty reports about the abuse than is likely to be good for me, but when all we can do is witness then that's a responsibility that must be borne with grace.

Yes, the game really is delightful and I'm sure you've noticed the artwork is spectacular. The pictures I've posted are from some of the movie cut scenes that play at various parts of the game. I think you'd enjoy it too, Marja-Leena.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
Tar sands mining is certainly a dirty, messy operation. Great pictures.
Apart from the environmental concerns the project seems to be dogged with problems for both Canada and the USA, not least of which being the impact on indigenous groups and the possibility of future over supply to add to costs as the massive investment must be recouped,
Best wishes

Randal Graves said...

"...have no plans to settle unless they absolutely have to..." Wonder what the over/under is for Absolutely Have To.
The last FF I played was VIII, yikes. VI is still the best. Opera!

susan said...

Business Insider definitely has the best series of photographs of the shocking size of the operation as well as the environmental devastation I've seen anywhere. Shale oil is very nasty stuff that has the be mixed with toxic chemicals before it can be piped or shipped by rail. This seems to have been the cause of degradation to the metal of said containers. The indigenous populations are right to be concerned as even 'minor' spills cause a great deal of ecological damage. There have also been several horrendous accidents including a train derailment and subsequent explosion in a small Quebec town last year that killed nearly sixty people.

Unfortunately, there is no law I know of that accords serious financial punishment to those invested in the processes.

susan said...

Yeah, I wondered about that too.

VI was great and the Opera is one of my all-time favorite sections in any game I've seen. You also got to have a moogle in the party.

VII is also a lot of fun. Red XIII was especially great as a character, but who can forget Cait Sith?

Lindsay Byrnes said...

I think that part of the problem is people are only arguing about the level of emissions which is only one side of the coin. Even so production and refining of Alberta’s oil sands will release more greenhouse-gas emissions than other more conventional forms of oil. The Canadian supporters seem to arguing the oil will displace heavy crude from Venezuela and Mexico that has a similar carbon footprint and that the project will create thousands of construction jobs. But as you say this is not just about about carbon emissions, but pollution in general and the massive risks to the environment.
Best wishes

MRMacrum said...

Hoping to gain access to the Magic Cavern, where resides the pool of healing elixirs and potions, my team carefully approached the gate guarding it from all who dared to enter. Careful and considered recon required the greatest of patience. The other half of my team grew frustrated and took me off rear guard forcing me to take point. After more than a few minor skirmishes, our patience was rewarded. Access to the Healing Cavern had been secured.

Now that we were in, what to do? Where to go? The labyrinth was confusing. Passageways that had been so welcoming and hopeful would abruptly end and as it is in the Magical World, it was the same here. We would find ourselves once again outside the Cavern looking in.

Again we realized the secret of this mystical place was there for the asking. The asking of the right questions in the correct passage way. Patience was key. And so began the final phase of unlocking the secrets of the Magical Cavern. More attempts than I can remember passed and finally a glowing entity named Jane greeted us with open arms.

"And what plan will you be wanting. Being from Maine, your options for health insurance are not huge, but I am sure we can find something that will work.

A conversation ensued. Questions and answers provided by both and suddenly we found ourselves once again outside the Magic Cavern. Only this time we had to look back to see the gate. With a tangible jaunt in our step, we hopped happily back to our home knowing that the trip had been worth it. We now had better insurance and were saving over $500/ month. Obama Care Rocks!

That's the most recent form of gaming I have been part of.

susan said...

The truly ugly thing about our extractive economy is that there's no financial penalty assessed for the damage done by the processes.

Thanks for mentioning that, Lindsay.

susan said...

Wow. What an extensive and impressive description of your mighty deeds fought to gain entry to the Magic Cave. I'm glad you and your co-player were successful in your endeavors.